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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Northern Illinois 37, Kent State 27

Associated Press

KENT, Ohio - Rocky Lombardi scored from a yard out with just under five minutes left in the game and Jacob Finley recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown as time expired to give Northern Illinois a 37-27 win over Kent State in the season finale.

Northern Illinois finished its season with back-to-back wins to finish 5-3 and in second place in the Mid-American Conference West Division, three games behind unbeaten 8-0 Toledo.

Kent State put up 17 points in the second quarter and took a 17-10 lead at the half. Lombardi threw 16 yards to Grayson Barnes for a touchdown to start the third quarter, then punched over from the 1 to take a 24-20 lead after three quarters.

Kent State (0-8, 1-11) took the lead on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Devin Kargman to Jameel Gardner Jr. with 10:23 left, but the Huskies answered with a 75-yard, nine-play drive that consumed almost six minutes and was capped by senior quarterback Lombardi.

The Golden Flashes put together a nine-play drive that stalled at the NIU 36-yard line when Kargman threw incomplete on fourth down, but the defense held the Huskies to a three-and-out and Kent State got the ball back at its own 9 with under a minute left. James Ester and Navaeh Sanders sacked Kargman on consecutive plays to put the ball near the goal line and Gardner fumbled on the next play.

Lombardi finished 9 of 18 passing for 183 yards and a touchdown and had two 1-yard runs for touchdowns. Gavin Williams carried 17 times for 103 yards and Antonio Brown added another 89 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Kargman was 14 of 26 for 237 yards and two touchdowns, with Gardner catching three passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Luke Floriea caught nine passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.

November 25, 2023


Scoring Summary
First Quarter NIUKentSt
NIU FG 11:27 Kanon Woodill 36 yard field goal 3 0
NIU TD 4:07 Antario Brown 24 yard TD run (Kanon Woodill Extra Point) 10 0
Second Quarter NIUKentSt
KentSt TD 12:09 Luke Floriea 9 yard TD pass from Devin Kargman (Andrew Glass Extra Point) 10 7
KentSt TD 7:53 Luke Floriea 13 yard TD run (Andrew Glass Extra Point) 10 14
KentSt FG 0:54 Andrew Glass 21 yard field goal 10 17
Third Quarter NIUKentSt
NIU TD 14:05 Grayson Barnes 16 yard TD pass from Rocky Lombardi (Kanon Woodill Extra Point) 17 17
KentSt FG 9:12 Andrew Glass 25 yard field goal 17 20
NIU TD 3:37 Rocky Lombardi 1 yard TD run (Kanon Woodill Extra Point) 24 20
Fourth Quarter NIUKentSt
KentSt TD 10:23 Jameel Gardner Jr. 50 yard TD pass from Devin Kargman (Andrew Glass Extra Point) 24 27
NIU TD 4:45 Rocky Lombardi 1 yard TD run (Kanon Woodill Extra Point) 31 27
NIU TD 0:00 Billy Dozier 8 yard fumble return for TD 37 27
Team Stats
  Northern Illinois Kent State
First downs 16 18
  Rushing 8 5
  Passing 8 13
  Penalty 0 0
3rd Down Efficiency 5-12, 42% 8-15, 53%
4th down efficiency 1-2, 50% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 40-243 35-107
Passing Yards 183 267
Return Yards 40 94
Completions-Attempts-Int 9-18-0 16-29-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 0-0 1-8
Punts 3 3
Fumbles Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties - Yards 2-10 3-11
Northern Illinois Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
R. Lombardi 9 18 183 1 0
Kent State Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Kargman 16 29 267 2 0
Northern Illinois Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
G. Williams 17 103 6.1 0
A. Brown 11 89 8.1 1
T. Rudolph 1 34 34.0 0
R. Lombardi 9 19 2.1 2
K. Thomas 1 3 3.0 0
T. Foley 1 -5 -5.0 0
Kent State Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
G. Garcia 21 78 3.7 0
J. Thomas 10 22 2.2 0
L. Floriea 1 13 13.0 1
A. Glass 1 8 8.0 0
D. Kargman 1 -8 -8.0 0
Northern Illinois Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
K. Thomas 1 45 45.0 0
D. Pardridge 1 44 44.0 0
T. Rudolph 2 38 19.0 0
G. Barnes 2 26 13.0 1
G. Williams 1 12 12.0 0
J. Johnson 1 12 12.0 0
C. Thompson 1 6 6.0 0
Kent State Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Gardner Jr. 3 111 37.0 1
L. Floriea 9 100 11.1 1
T. Harris 3 55 18.3 0
J. Holmes 1 1 1.0 0
Northern Illinois Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Kent State Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Northern Illinois Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Foley 3 130 43.3
Kent State Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Smith 3 111 37.0
Northern Illinois Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Pardridge 1 0 0
Kent State Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
L. Floriea 1 7 7.0
Northern Illinois Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Dozier 1 19 19.0
T. Rudolph 1 21 21.0
Kent State Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
X. Williams 3 64 21.3
B. Sheppert 1 23 23.0
Northern Illinois Missed FG
Player Length
K. Woodill 43
Kent State Missed FG
Player Length




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